Home > Sport > Other Sports
Tuesday November 5, 2013 MYT 5:20:00 PM
Tuesday November 5, 2013 MYT 5:21:29 PM
by lim teik huat
Lee Wei Loong with his bronze medal in sanshou (Chinese boxing) at the World Wushu Championships.
KUALA LUMPUR: As far as Malaysian boxer Lee Wei Loong is concerned, the bronze medal in his grasp is worth its weight in gold.
For he is simply happy that he managed to fulfil his pledge to win a medal for his first coach Phan Poh Ngean.
Wei Loong ended an eight-year drought for Malaysia in sanshou (Chinese boxing) at the World Wushu Championships when he officially claimed the bronze medal in the men’s 52kg at the Kuala Lumpur Badminton Stadium in Cheras on Tuesday.
But the 25-year-old, who was teary-eyed as he stood on the podium, intends to give the medal to his coach, who is now 76 and resides in Ipoh.
“He is old now and unable to come watch me fight ... but I know that if he were here, he would be the happiest man in the stadium,” said Wei Loong, who had dabbled in taekwondo, boxing, judo and silat before finding his niche in sanshou.
“Coach Phan has not been able to rest although he is old because he has to take care of his wife, who cannot walk.
“I want to go to Ipoh and give this medal to him and make him happy. Coach Phan deserves this as he was the one who took me out from Penang in 2006 and introduced me to sanshou boxing.
“He has been coaching for a few decades now ... and he does for the love of the sport.
“The last Malaysian to win a sanshou medal (Lew Chee Wai took bronze in Vietnam) in 2005 was also his student.
“He believed in me and told me that I could become a world champion one day.
“I still hold his words close to my heart ... that’s why I’m still here in this sport, although we do not get much support compared to exponents in taolu (barehands and weapons categories).”
It has been a rocky road to get to where he is today and Wei Loong feels that he would not have made it if not for his unflinching belief that “one day I will excel in what I do”.
“I do not get any support to compete at the world meet here. I had gone to Uzbekistan to learn boxing and wrestling. I was also in Bandung, Indonesia, to train with a Korean coach since April. All these I paid from my own pocket and with help from people who had seen me fight and support what I am doing.
“My mother has always been nagging me to stop boxing and to get a job ... but I never listened to her. I still believe that I can win the gold and it is that belief that will drive me on for another shot in two years’ time,” said Wei Loong, who fell to eventual winner Benjie Rivera of the Philippines in the semi-finals.
Wei Loong is not sure if he will get to compete in the Myanmar SEA Games in December but surely his bronze medal achievement speaks volumes.
Tags / Keywords:
wushu, World Wushu Championships, Lee Wei Loong, Phan Poh Ngean
Copyright © 1995-2013 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)